…urges EFCC to investigate fertilizer racketeers
The Managing Director of the Nigerian Sovereign Investments Authority (NSIA), Uche Orji, has said that the organisation has perfected the plans to invest $200 million (about N100 billion) in local production of COVID-19 vaccines and other health infrastructures across the country.
The NSIA boss made this disclosure Thursday in an interaction with State House Correspondents in a media briefing organised by the Presidential Media Team in the Presidential Villa.
According to him, the $200 million would be raised in collaboration with the private sector within the next five years.
The fund, he added, would also be used in building some health related facilities including a world-class hospital in Abuja as well as three Cancer Treatment Centres in the country.
Orji said the fund would also be applied in local manufacturing of some other pharmaceutical products and procurement of medical equipment.
Responding to question on how the NSIA intended to intervene in the nation’s COVID-19 situation, Orji disclosed that the agency commissioned the University of London to do a research on how to invest in the pharmaceuticals, including local vaccines, last year.
“COVID is a very important area of focus now. But let’s not neglect the fact that there are also other vaccines that we need. Polio, measles; these are all vaccines that are needed in the country. I’ve had several meetings, I’ve had several trips on this matter. I’ve been at it for almost a year, we will do something, and we’ll do something major in pharmaceuticals,” he stressed.
Apart from local vaccines manufacturing, the NSIA boss added that the fund would be invested in the manufacturing of other basic stuffs like antibiotics, other necessary drugs and medical infrastructures while noting that it was dangerous for the country to rely solely on others for certain basic items.
Also speaking on the Presidential Fertilizer initiatives, Orji disclosed that the agency revived the domestic fertilizer production plants, raising the blending plants from the initial 4 in 2016 to current 47 blending plants across the country.